Planning for the Future
Replacing Lost Documents
- County Recorder Clerk - Can assist individuals in replacing important documents, such as birth certificates and marriage certificates that were lost in the disaster. Contact your local County Recorder Office.
- Department of Motor Vehicles - Can assist individuals in replacing documents, such as drivers' licenses, identification cards, vehicle registration certificates or certificate of title that were lost. In addition, DMV can assist in obtaining forms to change the status of vehicles that were damaged or destroyed. Contact DMV at 1-800-921-1117 or 1-800-777-0133, or you can look up your local DMV office on the following website: http://dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/dmv/offices/findyourlocaloffice.
Personal and Financial Assistance
- The DMHC Help Center will help you receive medical help, medication, access to a doctor or medical facility during or after a disaster. Call 1-888-HMO-2219 toll free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- California Department of Insurance (www.insurance.ca.gov) is the official state agency charged with ensuring that consumers are protected and that the law is enforced fairly and impartially. The CDI also has a toll-free hot line available to consumers at 1-800-927-HELP.
- Insurance Information Network of CA (www.iii.org/) is available as a free, consumer resource designed to help answer questions, debunk myths and provide support for policyholders. *Includes the 800 telephone numbers for all California property insurance companies.*
- Small Business Administration (http://business.ca.gov/) has information on loans that may be available to impacted businesses.
- The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) supports state and local governments in emergency planning, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery responsibilities in peacetime and wartime. FEMA provides funding, technical assistance, supplies, equipment and training to state and local governments when major disasters are beyond their resources. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, nuclear power plant accidents, dam safety, radiological and hazardous materials incidents and strategic nuclear attack are a few of the areas in which FEMA assists.
FEMA's national toll-free telephone bank which accepts registrations for disaster assistance
FEMA's Help Line
After consumers have applied for financial assistance, they may call the Help Line within 7-10 days to inquire about the status of their application.
Tax Advice and Assistance
- Employment Development Department - Employers may file for a 60-day extension to file reports and make deposits when a state of emergency is declared. Contact the Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886 for additional information. TTY users, please call 1-800-547-9565.
- Franchise Tax Board - Provides guidance in obtaining tax relief for disaster casualty losses. Contact the Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-852-5711, (TTY/TDD) for hearing or speech impaired: 1-800-822-6268.
- California Board of Equalization - Offers extensions to file tax returns and relief of interest and penalties to taxpayers and fee payers directly affected by the disaster. Contact the Board of Equalization at 1-800-400-7115 (TDD/TTY 1-800-735-2929).
- Unemployment Insurance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Administered by the California Employment Development Department (EDD). English: 1-800-300-5616; Spanish: 1-800-326-8937; TTY: 1-800-815-9387. For more information, visit www.edd.ca.gov.
- Job Services
EDD provides job search services to job seekers with a legal right to work in the U.S. and connects them with thousands of available jobs through the automated system CalJOBSSM. In addition, EDD facilitates matches between eligible job seekers and employers. For more information, visit www.edd.ca.gov.
- After A Disaster Don't Get Scammed - Tips from the Contractors State License Board on protecting yourself after a disaster.
( PDF | Order | other PDFs: Spanish )
- The Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov) can provide information to consumers for help after a disaster. Please call 1-800-952-5210 for assistance in more than 170 different languages.
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) provides information regarding reputable charities and common scams that occur after a disaster. Visit the BBB website at www.bbb.org for more information.
- After a disaster, consumers should keep the following tips in mind to avoid becoming victims of a scam:
- Be wary of people calling you asking you to donate to relief efforts. While many legitimate charitable organizations will solicit donations by telephone, you should still be cautious.
- If you want to help with relief efforts, call organizations yourself. That way, you know you're dealing with a legitimate agency.
- Be wary of appeals that are long on emotion, but short on what the agency will do to address the needs of recipients. And never give in to high-pressure appeals. Legitimate organizations will never pressure you to donate.
- Be wary of similar sounding names. Scam artists will often use names that sound or look like legitimate organizations.
- Watch for charlatans who pose as members of a reputable charity. Their appeal may sound sincere and their organization may seem worthy. However, it's best to ask that information be mailed to you so you can research the charity before you decide. If the caller refuses, don't donate, simply hang up.
- Never send cash. Also, be wary of groups that offer to pick up your donation. Most of all, never give your credit card or bank account number.
- Check with your local Better Business Bureau before donating to any charity. Check out the "Tips for Charitable Giving" at http://give.org/.